Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $499,973)
OJJDP's Field Initiated Research and Evaluation (FIRE) Program funds research and evaluation that address how the juvenile justice system responds to juvenile delinquency. Funded research projects seek answers to questions that will inform policy and suggest ways to enhance the juvenile justice system. As set forth in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (Pub. L. No. 93-415, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq.), OJJDP may conduct research or evaluation in juvenile justice matters, for the purpose of providing research and evaluation relating to control of juvenile delinquency and serious crime committed by juveniles; successful efforts to prevent first-time minor offenders from committing subsequent involvement in serious crime; successful efforts to prevent recidivism; and the juvenile justice system. This program is authorized pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3796ee et seq.
The proposed study will evaluate the effects of sex offender registration and notification policies applied to juveniles who have sexually offended in Maryland, Texas, and Oklahoma. Three classes of outcomes related to SORN policies will be assessed; 1) whether SORN has a general deterrence function in terms of youth sex offending behavior, 2) whether there is a specific deterrence effect in terms of youth and violence recidivism, and 3) the impact of SORN on judicial processing/judicial discretion for juvenile sex offender cases. Variation in current state SORN policies will permit between state comparisons related to which juveniles are subject to registration requirements, the basis of juvenile registration requirements, the duration or registration requirements, and the extent to which juveniles are subject to community notification requirements. The results of the study may shed light on how sex offender policies affect both judicial and youth related outcomes.